Monday, March 24, 2008

THE MORE YOU KNOW (cue: rainbow)

James' guess:

My guess is that both were inspired by the Age of Exploration and the "discovery" of the New World, and that each represents the last work in its respective author's oeuvre.

James, the first part of your sentence is close to the right answer, but I think it's more true of The Tempest than Amerika. Kafka wrote Amerika in the '20s, which is just a little after the Age of Exploration. You are right though that both are the last works of the authors, but that is not what I was thinking of when I posted this.

Both works were written about the New World even though both authors never had a chance to see it. It's a testimony to imagination in general and to the belief in a notion of America as imaginary.

This struck me recently because I have always struggled with divorcing my fiction from nonfiction.

I was going to write a longer answer, but the muse ran away.

Also, a little 411- The Tempest is the only play by Shakespeare that he wrote from scratch. All of his other plays were retellings of known histories, myths and folklore.

1 comment:

Red Light! Green Light! said...

the fiction is everywhere. particularly with concepts of identity, especially permanent ones. non-fiction belongs in an ideological shredder. what is fiction? all of it. all of it. i hear myself finding a timbre in the phrases i'm discovering. so much in literature, so much in life is too busy creating, creating replicas of former monuments. there seems far less investment in discovery, and when we speak of literature, in language, in thought, we mean information and the perspective through which we bundle information in a little satchel upon our backs, unaware of the slow leak as me move forward, but alway may find the trace back. from above our paths of thought no more directed than an insect mistaking a lightbulb for sunlight. plants know better. fiction fiction fiction fiction fiction fiction fiction. i'm ready.